Bloomfield College forges a new path for lasting impact

In Brief

3-Minute Read

Institutional merger enables college to continue serving its highly diverse community

  • Bloomfield College overcame financial challenges by proactively seeking innovative solutions to continue its 150-year legacy of serving underrepresented students.
  • Faced with multiple external market forces affecting enrollment, Bloomfield collaborated with Huron to identify new paths for financial sustainability.
  • The college secured its future through a mutually beneficial merger with Montclair State University.

Facing declining enrollment and a myriad of external factors, Bloomfield College secured its future by pursuing a path of partnership with other institutions and the corporate community. After an extensive vetting process, the college merged with Montclair State University in 2023 to become the Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.

Challenge: Searching for a strategic path forward

Ranked among the top 20 colleges in the nation for creating social mobility opportunities, Bloomfield College is New Jersey's only four-year Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and Minority Serving Institution (MSI).

Like many colleges and universities, Bloomfield’s economic stability was struck by multiple issues affecting the higher education landscape, from demographic shifts to questions about the value of higher education.

To continue its 150-year legacy of serving underrepresented students, Bloomfield sought a new path to help the college thrive well into the next century. It proactively issued a call for action to the higher education and corporate communities for strategic alliances and philanthropic support.

Approach: Finding a sustainable solution

Collaborating with Huron’s social alliance program to analyze and review all responses, Bloomfield selected Montclair State University, a nearby public research doctoral institution, as a merger and acquisition partner. Working side-by-side, Huron and Bloomfield’s journey of discovery and strategic planning led to the following outcomes.

Action Outcome
Completed an overview of the higher education landscape Assessment of national trends and solutions for peer institutions
Defined the project vision and institutional profile Strategic plan and value proposition for potential partners
Led interviews with Bloomfield stakeholders Clear path for desired outcomes, buy-in, and support
Conducted qualitative and quantitative analysis Compilation of potential options, including closure, a merger, and other partner-led initiatives
Evaluated strategic alliance opportunities and fit Selection of Montclair State University as the partner institution
Many people in higher education fail to see the opportunities available to their institutions beyond ‘going at it alone’ or closing. Huron highlighted those options for us.” — Kevin Cavanagh, former vice president for enrollment management, Bloomfield College

Results: A mutually beneficial transformation

Throughout the process, Bloomfield prioritized finding a partner organization that celebrated the diversity of its student body and provided long-term stability. These criteria resulted in “win-win-wins” for both institutions, including financial viability, mission alignment, and access to expanded resources for Bloomfield students.

As noted by Marcheta P. Evans, chancellor of Bloomfield College of Montclair State University and former president of Bloomfield College, serving students remains at the core of its new form. “Helping students earn a college degree to advance their lives is our guiding light. Our evolution ensures we continue providing an affordable, high-quality liberal arts education in a supportive, personalized environment for years to come.”

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